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WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement Enters Into Force

By February 22, 2017 No Comments

Trade Facilitation Agreement Seeks to Provide Greater Transparency in the Relationship between Governments and Foreign Trade Operators, as well as to Reduce Bureaucratic Impacts on Imports and Exports

The World Trade Organization (WTO) announced today an entry into force of the new Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFAF) which aims to expedite the movement, release and clearance of goods across borders. The Agreement represents the first multilateral deal concluded in the 21-year history of the WTO, and could boost world exports by as much as US$ 1 trillion a year.

Trade Facilitation Agreement seeks to provide greater transparency in the relationship between governments and foreign trade operators, as well as to reduce bureaucratic impacts on imports and exports. The main beneficiaries should be developing countries, which have more room for efficiency gains.

Concluded at the Bali Ministerial Conference in 2013, the Agreement was launched on July 22, 2014, by WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo and became operational on November 27, 2014, when Members adopted the Protocol of Amendment to insert the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement into Annex 1A of the WTO Agreement. A major milestone for the global trading system was reached today, on February 22, 2017, with the WTO obtaining the two-thirds acceptance of the Agreement from its 164 Members needed to bring the TFAF into force.

Brazil ratified the TFAF in 2016, and agreed to implement 42 of the 47 commitments established by the Agreement, including the implementation of Foreign Trade Single Window Program, aimed at centralizing the interaction between the government and commercial operators, and reforming all export and import processes based on contributions made by the private sector. According to the Brazilian Minister of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services, Mr. Marcos Pereira, the TFAF represents a revitalizing momentum for international trade, and will help in making Brazilian trade more agile, simple and modern.

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